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Congratulations on your engagement! Now, it's time to throw a party!!! But wait, what are the rules of engagement party etiquette?!?! There are some accepted standards for engagement party etiquette, but I have also thrown in some of my own modern-day twists.
So, here are some answers to popular questions:
Q:When should the engagement party be held? A: Proper engagement party etiquette dictates that the engagement party be held (1) After the couple is officially engaged and (2) Only when both of the couple can be present. (I would recommend holding it before the wedding, too, however!)
Q:Who should be invited? A: Most engagement parties are small, intimate affairs. In general, just close family and friends are invited to celebrate the joy of your engagement.
Q:Is it required to have an engagement party? A: Engagement parties are actually somewhat of a dying tradition and are not required as a form of announcing one's engagement. Many couples opt instead to put an engagement announcement in their local newspaper or to send save the date cards to their family and friends.
Q:Who should host the engagement party? A: Most engagement parties are hosted by the parents of the bride as a form of announcing the engagement of their daughter. However, as times change more and more parents of the groom or siblings or friends are hosting engagement parties. As a rule of thumb, the brides parents would be the first to offer such an event, but if they don't it would be alright to accept the offer from someone else for a party. The bride and groom should never, however, request an engagement party of anyone.
Q:Should formal invitations be sent out? A: Formal invitations can be sent to invite guests to the engagement party with the words "In honor of Jennifer Lee Smith and William Thomas Brown" as the reason for the gathering. Formal invitations are not required, however, and a phone call to invite guests is perfectly acceptable.
Q:Should guests bring gifts to an engagement party? A: Most guests should not bring a gift to an engagement party, however many do. Engagement gifts are generally supposed to be limited to only the closest friends and family of the bride and groom. However, the bride and groom should never expect a gift from any of their guests.
Q:Should the bride and groom register for gifts before their engagement party? A: No, absolutely not. Registering is a way of saying you expect gifts. The bride and groom should not expect gifts at their engagement party.
Q:Where should the engagement party be held? A: Engagement parties range from informal to formal so there is no one right place to hold an engagement party. The house of the parents of the bride is a good place if they are hosting the party, but many engagement parties also happen as dinner out with friends.
Q:Should someone propose a toast? A: Since most engagement parties are given by the parents of the bride as a form of announcing their daughter's engagement, the father of the bride should give a toast to the happy couple as the method of formally announcing the engagement at the party.
Have more questions about engagement party etiquette? Send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be happy to answer them as best as I can.
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